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Time Warner Cable will give away TV antennas

NEW YORK (AP) -- Time Warner Cable said Friday it will give away a limited number of TV antennas to customers affected by its blackout of CBS stations.

Time Warner Cable Inc. said it will give away basic indoor antennas at its retail locations in New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wis. It will also provide a $20 discount on antennas at some Best Buy stores in those cities.

Since Aug. 2, Time Warner has blacked out CBS stations to about 3.2 million customers in cities including New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. The two sides are in a dispute over how much Time Warner pays for CBS Corp. programming and how much of the network's content it can use online.

To get the blacked-out broadcast channels with the antenna, customers also need a TV set with a digital tuner or an over-the-air digital converter box. Those converters are different from Time Warner Cable set-top boxes.

It's the cable company's latest workaround for customers affected by the blackout. It offered a free preview of the Tennis Channel through the U.S. Open tournament, which begins Monday. And CBS and Time Warner Cable lifted the blackout temporarily so New Yorkers could watch political debates between candidates for mayor and city comptroller.